About the Artist
"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." ~ John Lennon
The artist-doodler, Mark Ray, is a transplanted New Yorker living in Berkeley and its environs for 25 years. Besides Doodling, he practices sitting meditation, sings and plays piano and guitar, writes, gives driving lessons, and makes friends. For a recent showing of his works, he wrote the following description of his development as an artist and of the healing process of freeing the mind and heart through drawing:
"The emptiness/silence of drawing is glorious, the forms grown are fun, informative, therapeutic: visible phenomenal images reveal and express internal patternings. And colors tinge the world with the hue of our own temperaments.
Growing Forms: Early in the new millennium, after about 5 years of Zen meditation practice, I felt impelled to make forms: pictorial images: momentary visages of my fellow coffee shop patrons; and images and forms generated from within the imagination. Drawing and meditation combined to release and reveal an essential joyous expressive being, after a plague of earlier years. I drew mostly outdoors, at cafes, quick-draws or color pen abstracts without the slightest self-consciousness, at one with what I was doing, completely at ease. Whatever others might say couldn't faze me in this wholly natural desire and activity.
Removing ego from perception, one finds a freedom to express (original seeing) form, shape, color; rhythmic patterns, themes and variation, improvisational doodledy-do. With my representational portraits, the "quickdraws," or unmodeled pictures, I keep in touch with my fellow beings, holding their living faces before me, feeling close through the effort of rendering in the spirit of Hand-Eye-Heart. In the abstract drawings, I experience a way of improvising; the abstracts are doodled, allowed to go where they will, becoming guided doodles in the service of some Prompter of Forms. With the media of pens, pencils, occasional charcoal, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, I have sought to express what I call my doodler's delight at tasting this tincture of improvisational being, this following of beauty's flow in that way that Great Nature goes: from the realm of the Possible, making it up as you go along. Just doing it."